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Everything You Need To Know Before Getting Belkyra

Minor cosmetic procedures such as Botox and Juvederm are becoming increasingly popular amongst women and men. For many, these minimally invasive procedures can make a huge difference in how one looks and feels about themselves. Belkyra, or Kybella as it's also known, is a relatively new treatment option for that stubborn fat under the chin that often makes it look like one has a 'double chin.' For many people, no matter how clean they eat or how much they exercise, it can be hard to get rid of the double chin as it's the results more of genetics than age or diet. Belkyra is an injectable treatment that permanently destroys fat cells under the chin and it's becoming increasingly popular, especially since it has been endorsed by celebrities such as Khloe Kardashian, who was even a spokesperson for the brand at one point.

What is Belkyra?

Belkyra is actually a brand name for the product that is made by Allergan, the same company that produces Botox and Juvederm. It's an injectable product that targets what experts call the submental fat under the chin and around the neck. This fullness that creates the double chin can be genetic or can be something that one develops as they age. Belkyra treatments consist of multiple injections of deoxycholic acid in targeted areas under the chin. The benefit of Belkyra is that it's minimally invasive. Before injectables were created the only option to treat a stubborn double chin was liposuction, so people are really embracing this treatment not only because it's incredibly effective but because it has almost zero downtime as well.

Who Can Get Belkyra?

Belkyra is suggested for anyone between the ages of 18 and 65 who are bothered by submental fat underneath their chin. Belkyra is not intended for use on children or adolescents under the age of 18, and clinical trials of the product didn't include enough people over the age of 65 to get an accurate picture of how they respond to the treatment, so the company recommends that caution should be exercised with these patients. It's also not recommended for use while a woman is pregnant or nursing.

If you've had any prior surgery in the area you are targetting or have scar tissue, that could affect the results so you will want to disclose that information to your doctor.

How Does it Work?

Belkyra, or chin sculpting, helps eliminate the fat cells found under the chin. "Chin Sculpting is a cosmetic injectables treatment which uses a prescription medicine containing synthesized deoxycholic acid," Doctor Jonathan Hopkirk from Laser Clinics Australia told HuffPost Australia. "When injected below the chin, the compound breaks down the fat cells which the body then absorbs and excretes. Deoxycholic acid is found naturally in the body, aiding in digestion and the absorption of dietary fats. The deoxycholic acid drug substance used in chin sculpting is synthetically derived," Hopkirk added.

What to Expect

If you're considering Belkyra you should have a detailed consultation with a trained and qualified physician. Your doctor will then mark the injection sites for optimal results and apply a numbing cream to keep you as comfortable as possible. "The injecting treatment zone is marked out accurately using the patient's anatomical landmarks for guidance. Injection amount varies and is catered to the patient's anatomy," Hopkirk said.

According to Allergan, a patient can receive up to 50 injections per treatment session depending on the amount of excess fat present. Your doctor will administer the treatment around every four weeks, up to no more than six treatments or until the patient achieves the desired effect. The more prominent the double chin, the more treatments may be necessary. The total amount of treatments needed is definitely an individualized process that the doctor and patient will discuss.

Are There Any Side Effects?

As will any medication or treatment, there is the chance of experiencing side effects, and the same is true with Belkyra. Most of the time these side effects aren't serious, but some may require medical attention. Allergan notes that most patients experience mild or moderate pain or discomfort during their injections but some may also experience bruising, pain, numbness, swelling, redness, tingling, the formation of small areas of hardness, itching around the treatment area and high blood pressure. If you experience any of these and they are bothering you, Allergan suggests contacting your doctor.

If you experience trouble swallowing, an uneven smile, discoloration at the site of injection, ulcer (open sore) at the site of injection, unusual hair loss at the site of injection or taste disturbances the company suggests contacting a doctor immediately.

When Will You See Results?

"Results will vary from client to client, but you should expect initial swelling and discomfort which can be treated with ice and simple over-the-counter pain medication," Dr. Hopkirk told HuffPost. "The treatment itself takes 20 to 40 minutes. We review results with our clients on a weekly basis and then bi-weekly basis between treatments. The majority of clients will have visible results in two to four treatments," he added. While a patient can receive a maximum of six treatments, sometimes Hopkirk says less is needed for optimal results. "At least two treatments are necessary and some clients can see great results after only two treatments."

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